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Every human life, from the moment of conception until death, is sacred because the human person has been willed for its own sake in the image and likeness of the living and holy God. - CCC  (Catechism of the Catholic Church) no. 2319

Miscarriage is technically defined as the loss of a baby before 20 weeks gestation. Approximately 1 in 4 babies are lost to miscarriage.

Types of Miscarriag

Spontaneous miscarriage

  • Complete- the uterus is empty

  • Happens naturally without medical intervention

  • Incomplete- the uterus is not fully emptied (example: placenta (etc) is left behind and requires removal)

Chemical Pregnancy 

  • A positive pregnancy test (blood or urine) due to a fertilized egg, but undetectable by ultrasound. This type of loss usually occurs just after implantation. 

Blighted Ovum

  • Implanted fertilized egg which develops a gestational sac, but the baby does not develop/grow

Ectopic/tubal Pregnancy

  • A fertilized egg that implants somewhere other than the uterus. Many times it implants in the fallopian tube. This condition is fatal for the baby and can be life threatening for the mother

Molar Pregnancy 

  • Irregular combination of egg and sperm; all end in miscarriage; rare cases can involve cancer.

  • Complete- possible empty egg

  • Partial- possible fertilization by 2 sperm

Vanishing Twin Syndrome

  • Usually occurs in the 1st trimester; when a twin dies and gets absorbed by the placenta, the uterus, or the surviving baby.

Recurrent Miscarriages


  • Death of a baby who has completed 20 weeks gestation or more with death occurring before birth or during delivery.

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, and the Effects on Marriage

  • Married and cohabitating couples are 22% more likely to break up following miscarriage; 40% for stillbirth.

  • The increased risk is shown for the first 3 years post miscarriage and for 9-10 years post stillbirth.

Understand you and your partner may grieve for different lengths of time and in different ways. 


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